Fall Camp: Day 19

PULLMAN—The Cougars held their final scrimmage of fall camp on Friday afternoon at 5 p.m., the exact time of next week's season opener against New Mexico. And as gameday gets closer, more questions—who will start on the right corner and which true freshman will see immediate action—are being answered, but the jury is still out on kicking duties.

Head coach Bill Doba was pleased with how the offense performed during the toned down scrimmage that substituted a two-handed touch for actual tackling. "We moved the ball up and down the field pretty well. I thought we looked pretty good." There were no penalties on the offensive line, as well.

"Everything is really starting to come together on offense," quarterback Josh Swogger said. The sophomore co-captain completed 13-18 passes for 133 yards and a TD, which was caught by Jason Hill after deflecting off of Marty Martin.

Swogger said the team is getting a little antsy to play someone other than each other, "We're ready to put the same color jerseys on for once." The QB also said the anchor of the offense during camp has been the line and the running backs, who've shown patience while the young receivers and quarterbacks develop.

The biggest problem with the young talent at wide-out, Swogger noted, is who to throw to. Nine different players caught at least one pass in the scrimmage. Martin hauled in six passes for 39 yards, while sophomore Chris Jordan led in yardage with 64 on three receptions.

Doba said coaches will continue to chart both placekickers next week and a decision on how they will use them will be determined after that. "Loren Langley has a little bit more consistency in the short range and Graham Siderius has a little bit stronger leg," Doba said. Doba did say that both kickers will definitely travel, as they each have their own positives.

Of all the true freshmen on this year's squad, Doba said only a few will see immediate action. Receiver Michael Bumpus, Langley, linebacker Jed Collins, and possibly defensive end Jason Roberts are the likely candidates to burn their redshirt.

With Allen Thompson scheduled to return next week, the running game looks to be very deep. Thompson's injury woes have allowed extra reps for JC transfer Jerome Harrison, who had a whopping 90 yards on just eight carries and a TD in Friday's scrimmage. Chris Bruhn added 24 yards on five carries and two receptions for another 30 yards.

Doba is pleased with how well some of the younger defensive linemen have been rotating in citing Aaron Johnson, Odell Howard, and Ropati Pitoitua as potential major contributors.

When asked about the corner position opposite Karl Paymah, Doba said, "Alex Teems looks like he has the job. He has had a nice camp and a good spring before that. He is doing a nice job for us."

Doba said linebacker Will Derting is getting a smaller cast on this weekend and he will resume contact play at Monday's practice. Steve Cook did not play in the scrimmage because of some minor dings but should be back soon.

Even the WSU band and cheerleaders had a dress rehearsal at today's scrimmage, bringing home the feeling that college football is right around the corner.

The Cougars will practice tomorrow at 2:30 then have Sunday off before returning Monday.


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